Modified Ammunition


Hollow-Point Ammo

Many jurisdictions outlaw the sale or possession of handgun caliber hollow-point ammo. It is a simple matter to make your own.

First file the point of the bullet flat without removing too much material then chuck the round into a drill (preferably a drill-press). Use a vice to hold a drill bit of the appropriate size and then ream a hole in the dead center of the bullet. Be careful not the drill too deeply.

You may want to increase the expansion of the bullet by taking a sharp knife and marking criss-crossed cuts on the rim of the bullet's hollow point.

Poisoned Ammo

The hollow-point cavity of a bullet can be filled with any strong poison such as ricin and then sealed with melted wax. This trick is well suited for close-up selective assassination work. Consult the poisons section for details on producing suitable toxins for this application.



A hotload is a type of modified ammunition which explodes upon impact with the target, causing horrific, gaping wounds and increasing the lethality of each shot. The hotload is produced with hollow point ammunition, primers and epoxy. Ammunition primers are available wherever reloading supplies are sold and come in a variety of sizes.

First determine what size of primer will fit into the cavity of the hollow point bullet. You may have to ream out the cavity slightly in order to get the primer to fit neatly.

Next simply epoxy the primer into the hollow point bullet, being careful to keep everything neat and even in order not to excessively affect the bullet's flight stability. Changing a bullet in this way will change its ballistic characteristics. The operative will have to be familiar with how the hotload ammunition will perform before attempting to use it for long-range sniper work. Hotloads are ideal for close up work with handguns or submachineguns.  

An even more powerful hotload can be produced by inserting a .22 short or blank round, primer end forward, into the drilled out cavity of a large rifle bullet or a rifled slug. These will make a real mess!



Shotshell Dispersion Control

When desired, a shotshell can be modified to reduce shot dispersion, keeping the shot in a tighter pattern. This is very useful when buckshot loads are unavailable and only bird and small game loads are at hand.


1. Carefully remove crimp from shotshell using a screwdriver or knife.

NOTE: If cartridge is of roll-crimp type, remove top wad.

2. Pour shot from shell.

3. Replace one layer of shot in the cartridge. Pour in a filler material, such as flour, to fill the spaces between the shot.

4. Repeat Step 3 until all shot has been replaced.

5. Replace top wad (if applicable) and re-fold crimp.

6. Roll shell on flat surface to smooth out crimp and restore roundness.

7. Seal end of case with wax.


This round is loaded and fired in the same manner as standard shotshell. The shot spread will be about 2/3 that of a standard round.


Improvised Ammunition

It is possible to make firearm or 40mm grenade launcher ammunition from recycled ammunition components. The increasing pressure for gun control in our Nations means that purchasing ammunition without a paper trail may not always be possible.


Reusable Primer

Small arms ammunition primers can be re-used with the following method. 

Materials Required:

Cartridge case

2 long nails having approximately the same diameter as the inside of the primer pocket

"Strike-anywhere" matches - 2 or 3 are needed for each primer



1. File one nail to a needle point so that it is small enough to fit through hole in primer pocket.

2. Place cartridge case and nail between jaws of vise. Force out fired primer with nail.

3. Remove anvil from primer cup.

4. File down point of second nail until tip is flat.

5. Remove indentations from face of primer cup with hammer and flattened nail.

6. Using a knife, cut off tips of the heads of the "strike-anywhere" matches. Carefully crush the match tips on dry surface with a wooden match stick until the mixture is the consistency of sugar.

CAUTION: Do not crush more than 3 match tips at one time as the mixture may explode.

7. Pour mixture into primer cup. Compress mixture with wooden match stick until primer cup is fully packed.

8. Place anvil in primer pocket with legs down.

9. Place cup in pocket with mixture facing downward.

10. Place cartridge case and primer cup between vise jaws, and press slowly until primer is seated into bottom of pocket. The primer is now ready to use.



The improvised primer above can be coupled with this improvised cartridge. If the operative has access to a reloader's press and bullet dies it is preferable to produce ammunition in the standard way rather than using the following process.

Materials Required:

Empty cartridge, be sure that it is not too deformed to fit inside gun.

Threaded bolt that fits into neck of cartridge at least 1-1/4" (3 cm) long.

Safety or "strike-anywhere" matches (about 58 matches are needed for 7.62 mm cartridge)

Rag wad (about 3/4" (1-1/2 cm) square for 7.62 mm cartridge)



NOTE: Number of matches and size of rag wad depend on particular cartridge used.


1. Remove coating on heads of matches by scraping match sticks with knife.

CAUTION: If wooden "strike-anywhere" matches are used, cut off tips first. Discard tips or use for Reusable Primer.


2. Fill previously primed cartridge case with match head coatings up to its neck. Pack evenly and tightly with match stick.

CAUTION: Remove head of match stick before packing. In all packing operations, stand off to the side and pack gently. Do not hammer.

3. Place rag wad in neck of case. Pack with match stick from which head was removed.

4. Saw off head end of bolt so remainder is approximately the length of the standard bullet.

5. Saw bolt in cartridge case so that it sticks out about the same length as the original bullet.

NOTE: If bolt does not fit snugly, force paper or match sticks between bolt and case, or wrap tape around bolt before inserting in case.

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